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(en) Britain, Organise! #65 - the seventh congress of the international of anarchist federations

Date Mon, 07 Nov 2005 10:38:41 +0200


The strong red and black thread of the international (translated from the Italian)
The Seventh Congress of the International Federation of Anarchists (IAF) was held
over three days in April 2004 in Besancon, France. It gathered over a hundred com-
rades, representing the member organizations as well as other groups with whom
IAF co-operates and collaborates. In this way, it was possible to have delegates from
the `historical' federations (those which have been in IAF since its foundation in
1968), such as the Iberian Federation of Spain and Portugal, the Francophone
Federation from France and Belgium, the Italian Federation and the Argentinean
Libertarian Federation, but also of those more recently formed -such as the Forum of
German speakers- and those which have joined this very year, like the Federation of
Great Britain and Ireland, and the Czech
and Slovak Federations. There was also a
delegation from the Association of Move-
ments (ADA) from Russia, a group, which
has been active since the mid nineties in
different places of this extensive country.
Their membership application was accepted
at this Congress.
Other groups represented include delega-
tions from the Belarusian Federation, the
Commission of Anarchist Relations of
Venezuela, Anarchist Workshop from
Uruguay, the historical British fortnightly,
Freedom, and Swiss from Space Noir.
Others had expressed an interest in attend-
ing but were regretfully unable to do so.
These include the Federation of Anarchists
from Serbia, the Slovenian Anarchist
Federation, the Korean anarchists and
Libertarian Utopia from Bolivia. There
were many greetings received in support of
the Congress: from the IWA secretariat to
the Brazilian Libertarian Movement, from
the Poznan Group of the Polish Federation
to the A-infos Collective, from the Anar-
chist and Anarcho-syndicalist of Minnesota
to the Anarcho-syndicalist Magazine from
Philadelphia in the United States, from the
Workers Solidarity Alliance of New York to
the Woorder van Rebellen of Amsterdam,
from the Bulgarian Youth Federation to the
Community of the South of Montevideo,
from the Sao Paulo Libertarian Collective
to the Rio de Janeiro Federation, from the
Germinal Group from Pecho in Chile to the
OSL of Argentina, from the Portuguese
magazine Utopia to the many, many
individuals who we can't mention here. The
Besancon group of the French Anarchist
Federation did an outstanding job of
dealing with the practicalities of the
Congress, organising food and accommoda-
tion and simultaneous translation in four
languages. Member federations contributed
to the costs, though the French Federation,
as host federation took on a major part of
the financial responsibility. The wide spread
participation in this Congress is an indica-
tion of the inescapable need for internation-
alism in order to effectively confront the
warmongering aggressiveness of capitalism
and the State.
The Congress was prepared over the last
three years in a series of meetings held in a
variety of European cities, including Milan,
Montpelier, Mannheim, Prague and
London, of the Secretariat and the `Rela-
tions Commission' of the International. The
Besançon Congress took place in a particu-
larly constructive atmosphere, enlivened by
the large numbers of young people present.
The positive atmosphere enabled the
delegates to clarify the issues facing the
international and to develop common
strategies and points of reference for our
activities in the near future. A special public
meeting on Proudhon, a native of
Besançon, was held on the eve of the
Congress, well-advertised on the streets of
the town. The Congress, itself, alternated
work in general assemblies and small
discussion groups, enabling the biggest
possible participation in the debates and
common plenaries. The Congress ended at
midday on Monday the twelfth, with the
approval of the documents drawn up by the
participants, some of which are reproduced
in these pages, and the transfer of the IAF
secretariat from the Italian Federation to the
Anarchist Federation of Great Britain and
Ireland.
However, apart from the resolutions that
were approved, it is important to highlight
the presence of a clear will to co-operate, to
build up a dynamic, linked to political and
social realities, without concessions of any
kind or abandonment of anarchist prin-
ciples. In the same way, exchange between
the generations is a sign of the vitality of
today's anarchism, which confirms itself,
again, as the most stimulating thinking, in
terms of defining new action parameters to
bring about the society of the free and
equal. We've left certain of having made
the acquaintances, gathered the
knowledges, shared the intentions and lived
together the (few) festive moments- the
joint singing of anarchist songs- all of
which have characterised the congress and
which will certainly bring new spirits to
IAF´s actions, as well as repaying us for the
effort of getting to Besançon.

M.V. (outgoing Secretary- Italian Anarchist
Federation)

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